A new study reveals today that almost half of all British adults spend time in the toilet on activities which are additional to their primary reason for being there.
The research, carried out for the AA’s Home Emergency Response Service as part of its State of the Nation’s Homes series of reports, showed that the most popular activity is to send or receive texts (20 pere cent), which has overtaken the traditional bathroom pastime of reading newspapers, magazines or books (16 per cent).
Facebook is used on the loo by one in eight people (13 per cent), although this rises significantly for the younger generations. A third of those aged 16 to say that they use Facebook while on the toilet, compared to only one per cent of people over 55.
The study found that those who conduct activities such as logging on to social media, texting, reading or playing games on their phone while in the toilet spend an additional seven minutes each day doing so.
This adds up to a combined figure of more than two million hours, or a massive 232 years, which the nation spends in the loo on additional activity, every single day.
This multi-tasking may have come about as people realise just how long they spend in the toilet and look for ways to maximise their time spent there. The researchers found out that after age of 16, the average Briton will spend a whopping 263 days of rest of their life on the loo.
This looks set to increase as more and more people use smartphones to send messages, use social media or play games and videos. The average 16-17 year old spends 13 minutes longer than they need to in the toilet, compared to just 4 and a half minutes for those over 65.
Although women are commonly thought to be better at multi-tasking in most walks of life, the roles are reversed when it comes to the bathroom. Males are more likely to be toilet multi-taskers, with 53 per cent of men saying they carry out other activities while ‘on the throne’, compared to 38 per cent of women.
Tom Stringer, head of the AA’s Home Emergency Response Service said: “It depends on your point of view as to whether the additional hours the nation spends in the toilet on extra activities is a waste of time, a sensible way to multi-task or simply a chance for people to grab a few minutes down time in a busy day.
“Whatever we think about it though, we should reflect on the fact that many people around the world don’t even have access to a proper toilet, never mind the choice of logging on to Facebook while they use it.”